How to Make the Most of Statement Sleeves | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

How to Make the Most of Statement Sleeves

Life&Style writer Charlotte Gill shares her ideas on how to make statement sleeves work for any occasion

You can make your look as flashy as you like or keep it downplayed if that’s more your style
The fashion world has a trick up its (statement) sleeve. Bell sleeves, frill sleeves, puff, bishop, balloon, flare, poplin, tiered and ruffle, to name just a few: statement sleeves are having a moment. I love that they are on trend because there is something for everyone and, best of all, they’re fun – give those arms a wave! Just remember not to eat soup or do your washing up or the look will become more soggy sleeve than statement sleeve.

Bell sleeves (think extra wide flare from the elbow to the wrist) are an easy place to start. For a casual daytime look, pair a block-coloured, bell-sleeved jumper (M&S have some nice options) with plain navy jeans and trainers so the statement sleeve remains a statement. For those of you really embracing the trend, give the bolder styles a try, such as a puff or balloon sleeve – the bigger the better. Try styling with cropped trousers and trainers to create a cool, street-style vibe.

For a dressier look, try pairing a bold ruffle sleeve in a darker colour with black jeans and heels (see ASOS for lots of options).

Bishop sleeves (puffing out around the lower arm before gathering back into a cuff) are generally more understated so would work well with a pair of tailored trousers and some heeled mules for work or a more formal setting.

Make for a summery, flirty look by opting for a blouse with large frilly or tiered sleeves. Pair with a floaty skirt and tie-up sandals, or with floral embroidered jeans and metallic sandals, for an airy, laid-back vibe. For inspiration, see Anthropologie, which has a great selection of summery tops with statement sleeves in a range of colours and styles.

If all of the different options sound a bit bewildering, fear not. Rarely is there such a versatile trend in fashion. If it’s got a bit of a flair or a frill then you’re good to go! You can make your look as flashy as you like or keep it downplayed if that’s more your style: go bright (see Mango), patterned (gingham works well with a statement sleeve for summer) or just keep it simple. Topshop demonstrates that this trend is not limited to tops but works with dresses and cardigans, too. The world really is your statement sleeve-filled oyster so take your pick.

Third year Modern Languages student currently living in Paris. Interested in fashion, fitness, languages and travel. I love reading and listening to podcasts and would count 'trying out cool cafés' as a hobby.


12th April 2017 at 2:11 pm

Images from

Viva Glam Magazine